According to the London Sleep Centre, about 6 percent to 8 percent of males over age 50 suffer from sleep apnea, while about 4 percent of females over 50 suffer from the disorder.
The American Sleep Apnea Association defines obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as a disorder that results in the soft tissues in the back of your throat temporarily collapsing and causing repeated interruptions in your breathing. When the airway is obstructed, the brain briefly arouses you in order to signal you to resume breathing, therefore resulting in fragmented or poor sleep patterns.
A new Harvard study reveals that OSA patients eat a less healthy diet than people without the disorder. Test results showed participants with OSA consumed nine extra grams of saturated fat and 88 extra milligrams of cholesterol each day.
Researchers believe this may result in the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in OSA patients. Increased blood pressure levels have also been reported in OSA patients.
Be sure to observe your sleep patterns and talk with your physician about your individual risks for sleep apnea. By treating the symptoms early you can avoid other related health problems such as memory lapses, weight gain, sexual dysfunction and headaches.